The GAP Goes to Washington
posted: May 9, 2022
Several members of the GAP participated in the CAP Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. from April 30th-May 3rd, including GAP President Dr. Dean Joelson, Dr. George Birdsong (chair of the Georgia CAP House of Delegates delegation), and Dr. Pat Godbey (head of the GAP Advocacy Committee). Other GAP members participated virtually, including President-Elect Dr. Lara Harik. Saturday was the spring House of Delegates (HOD) meeting, and lectures on Sunday covered leadership topics such as practice management and giving and receiving feedback. Monday and Tuesday were devoted to advocacy, and Georgia pathologists met with 14 (12 Representatives and 2 Senators) of the 16 Congressional representatives from Georgia. There were three primary asks:
- Relief from the scheduled (as of January 1st, 2023) 3% cuts in the value of pathologist CPT codes because of an increase in the valuation of Evaluation and Management (E/M) codes (which pathologists, as a general rule, don’t bill). The GAP and CAP believe in the value of primary care physicians and agree with Medicare that these physicians deserve to be better compensated. We disagree with Medicare that other doctors, such as pathologists, should become relatively less valuable, as a result.
- We recommended passage of Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 to address the looming physician shortage. Some might say it’s not even really looming — it’s here, given how difficult it is for many of us to fill open positions.
- We recommended passage of the PREVENT Pandemics Act, which aims to better prepare the country for the next pandemic.
Our representatives would much rather hear from real constituents (like us!) than from lobbyists, and the offices we spoke with all thanked us for our time and input. Last year, similar efforts from Georgia pathologists lead to the elimination of planned 3% Medicare cuts for 2022 (if that 3% number sounds familiar, it’s the same ask we have for 2023 — we clearly require a long-term fix soon).
Advocacy is one of the GAP’s primary missions, and the GAP is dedicated to continuing to promote the value of pathologists among both state and federal representatives.